There is a beautiful volley
that evolves in a collaboration project. Ideas generate new ideas, conversation leads to actions. Just one word or idea lets complications slip away like silk in a breeze.
It started one night on a Skype chat with the open-hearted Sara Blackthorne.
me: I’ve been dreaming of a Tarot deck with my photos.
me: We could make it about Gratitude.
me: With the four elements making up the four arcanas.
Sara: YES! Wands will be Kindness. Pentacles, Thankfulness. We’ll make swords Awareness, and cups Community.
me: YES! The traditional Major arcana has 21 or 22 cards. But 23 is a meaningful number for me.
Sara: YES! The Gratitude deck will have 23 cards in the Gratitude arcana and 79 cards altogether. Prime numbers. Rich in meaning and guidance.
me: YES! Thank you!
This was the beginning.
The very next day, an excited message.
Sara: I dreamed of the Gratitude Tarot last night!
me: You did? What did the cards look like?
Sara: A photo filled the card, with a thin dark border. Nearly black, but a colour. I couldn’t quite make it out.
me: Aubergine! It must be aubergine, my most favourite rich colour of all. Was that all there was to them? No extra fanciness?
Sara: That’s all. Simple. Beautiful. and a small notation of the card title.
me: I can do this! I can do this right now!
The veil was lifted and the journey begun.
Thousands of photos to choose from. Nudges and guidance from Sara’s initial descriptions, the overall meanings of the cards, the traditional elements of air ~ earth ~ fire ~ water. The colours yellow ~ green ~ red ~ blue. So much depth and richness available.
So many photos to choose from.
Nightly I would browse. Through my sets on Flickr, through photos shared before. One image sparking a new thought, another direction. A tangent illuminating a memory. A nearly-right pic bringing me back to the original folder, calling me to search deeper until an image announced itself as the one.
So many photos were almost right.
A few I was sad to leave out of this beautiful project, like this magical miniature mushroom scene.
This deck had requirements both meaningful and physical. She ruled my decisions and illuminated the path with her limitations and guidelines.
Time did not pause for us as Sara offered her interpretations. As I created card after card in its aubergine frame with its small title in the corner.
We met weekly for most of this time. Are the images right? Do the wordings flow? I worked with the printer and found a seamstress to create the beautiful packaging.
Back and forth and together again. Life trumping our efforts with heartbreak and loss, pulling us from each other, from the project. And still the project pulled me to her relentlessly.
She is nearly here
Soon we will each hold the deck in our hands.
A guide to Gratitude in 79 beautiful cards.
In my hands.
In your hands.
The limited run first edition Gratitude Tarot is printed and shipping now!
You can have Gratitude in your own hands. Only 100 decks were printed.
Read more about the Gratitude Tarot:
Why Gratitude? Wholeness: Gratitude in 4 Elements
How I will use the Gratitude Tarot to set my intentions and focus my energy. How will you use it?